Featured Image: Farm to Fork Criteria

Farm to Fork Criteria

Every café has a Farm to Fork chalkboard listing its local suppliers

Every café has a Farm to Fork chalkboard listing its local suppliers

In 1999, we launched our companywide commitment to buying locally, Farm to Fork.

We require our chefs to purchase at least 20 percent of their ingredients from small farms and ranches located within 150 miles of their kitchens that are registered through this program.

By buying directly from farmers, we have much more control over what types of agribusiness we are supporting. We support true family farms where the owners live on or nearby the land, work it themselves, and therefore are conscientious stewards. In 2011, we defined a new mid-size category for regional meat producers, and also launched a companion seafood program, called Fish to Fork.

We rely on our regional foragers and piscators to locate and enroll new suppliers. If your farm, ranch, or business meets the eligibility below, you may email us with your name, contact information, and a description of your business (and where you’re located) and we will connect you to the forager/piscator in your area.

Our rules for Farm to Fork eligibility for all farms and artisans are as follows:

Size/Type of farm Ownership Distance from Bon Appétit kitchen Annual sales volume Certification
Small farms, orchards, mills growing plant-based products Owner-operated1 150 miles or less $5 million or less2 None3
Small producers of meat, poultry and eggs4, dairy and cheese Owner-operated1 150 miles or less $5 million or less2 None4
Small artisan producers of items such as baked goods, ice cream or gelato Owner-operated1 Production within 150 miles; at least 50% of product, by weight, sourced from within 150 miles.5 $5 million or less2 None6
Mid-size producers of meat, poultry and eggs, dairy and cheese Owner-operated1 500 miles or less Less than 1% of industry leaders’ sales volume for each species cultivated7 Stringent third-party humane certifications: required8

In addition to the Farm to Fork criteria above, we buy only rBGH-free milk and yogurt; chicken, turkey, and hamburger from animals raised without the routine use of antibiotics in feed or water; and cage-free shell eggs.

Chart notes

Co-ops of owner-operators are acceptable.

If a co-op, all members must gross $5 million or less and be a true co-op rather than contractors to a large corporation.

We do not require any sustainability certifications. We encourage producers to share evidence of certifications, integrated pest management or organic practices, and other third-party validated evidence of best agricultural practices.

Shell egg producers must have third-party humane certification.

To be considered Farm to Fork, milled grains must come from within 150 miles as well as be milled locally. NOTE: These criteria are currently being re-examined and will be changing by year-end 2014. 

We do not require any sustainability certifications of artisans, but we do require a variety of legal documents including a certificate of insurance and a W9.

Currently, this ranges from $15 million for turkey to $132 million for beef.

Third-party certification from Humane Farm Animal Care, Animal Welfare Approved, Global Animal Partnership, or Food Alliance. A producer can be enrolled if they have had an initial consultation with one of these agencies and commit to completing the process within 18 months. If they fail to get certified, they will no longer be considered Farm to Fork suppliers.